This is one of those long-running shows on TV, beginning in the late
1970s as The Kids Of Degrassi Street. And then it was on in the 1980s
as Degrassi Jr. High and Degrassi High. They are packaged as "Degrassi
Oldschool" in more recent airings. It is nice to see a run down 1980s
school campuses and all of the 1980s styles. I still like Square Pegs
MUCH better, and it would have been so much nicer to see Square Pegs
have the same success as Degrassi.
Old School Degrassi was nice with nerdy people and freaky hairstyles
and a teenage pregnancy. THIS character, the child Emma, is what
started Degrassi: The Next Generation. She is now growing up and a few
of the high school students from Old School Degrassi are now adults.
Mr. Rad Itch is now principal, but gets demoted later. They have other
teachers that work there now, that used to be the students. "Snake" is
the multimedia teacher.
In Degrassi they have quite silly but realistic events. There is plenty
of drama, bullying, and "It Goes There" promotion. Spinner bullies
Toby, and Jimmy bullies Sean. Craig is bipolar, and so is his dad.
Whenever the characters resolve their issues, (such as Sean) then they
bring in more characters. Spinner turns darker and they also had an
abusive boyfriend named Rick that almost killed his girlfriend. There
are activists, Spoiled Brat Kids-Of-Teachers, School Sluts, adults
having relationships with minors, eating disorders, Pot, Drugs,
alcoholism, skipping school, stealing, not paying for restaurants,
people "going on vacation", wrongful punishments, and also they have an
abusive teacher (he thinks the students sabotaged his car).
Excited yet? Scared? I am not quite finished.
They also have school shootings and school stabbings. Rick transferred
back to Degrassi which literally sparked protests. He was bullied for
putting his girlfriend in the hospital. His issues were never
described, only that he has a concerned and clueless mom and an always
absent dad. They live in a house with easy access to firearms. But for
whatever reason, he has changed but lots of people try to push him
around either because of anger towards him or they want to try to set
He almost achieved redemption (yes, this type of thing does happen in
the real world fortunately...or perhaps UNfortunately) and has several
friends. But he becomes overconfident and thinks he is the coolest kid
in school and also thinks he has a girlfriend again. He wins a contest
for his school but Spinner and a few others dump orange paint and
feathers on him and are not caught and Rick does not know either.
Spinner places the blame on Jimmy, and so Rick confronts Jimmy, closes
his eyes, and points the gun at him and shot Jimmy in the back. Rick
finds Emma and a few others. Sean tries to talk to him with the "I know
what it's like" but Rick says "Oh no it's too late" and then Sean tries
to grab the gun. It fired and Rick died. Jimmy can't walk anymore and
they have candlelight vigils for Jimmy and a funeral for Rick.
Two things the production did that they did well: When Rick and Sean
had the SAME expression on their face, both collapse, so you don't know
who got hurt, injured, killed, or what. Second thing is the candlelight
vigil which showed pictures of Rick and Jimmy, sometimes together in
the picture...getting along like friends. with a giant "WHY?!" for the
caption. Still, I don't care how great they did it. They should NOT
have done it! They were too concerned in the 1970s about exposure to
violence, and now they have TOO MUCH of it! and so the kids that
bullied Rick, (whether he deserved it or not, I say leave Rick alone!)
they all changed their ways, with the girl, Alex first. and then
Spinner was the last one to change his ways, and forgiven by a Church
(this type of thing happens in real life too)
Sean and Peter, who were almost friends gets into a huge fight instead which results in Peter placing Pot into Sean's locker, and then Sean races Peter, which results in a Hit and Run.
J.T. York was very obnoxious but then gets more likable every season. Sadly, he died. He got stabbed by a student from a rival school.
And this is when I started to stop watching the series. I last remember several of them going to College. They should have made another spin off, as Degrassi: TNG is in fact a spin off itself!!, and a very successful one also. The issues of The Real World were very interesting, and I am glad that some of the characters graduated from that terrible school, Degrassi Community School, which makes Charles Darwin, the school in My Gym Partner Is A Monkey look very civil, and also clean.
The more deaths you put into a show, the less I will watch it. I stopped watching 24 and Desperate Housewives for the same reasons. I had more than enough problems with the high school I went to to want to watch Degrassi. It was actually not even close to as bad as Degrassi!! but it was still stupid, and also so is this show.
One more thing: This show is very Hollywood-like. Though it is filmed in Canada!! It gets cold often in Canada, and instead of thermals, scarves, and windy blizzards, the kids often dress in sleeveless shirts and there are lots of bright, sunny days in Degrassi.
Oh, and Spinner really stinks. Excitement makes him fart.